New CEO leads at Blue Mountain Hospital

Blue Mountain Hospital's new CEO Randall Mee chats with Linda Watson of the Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization, adding a meeting to his schedule.

JOHN DAY – Randall Mee, Blue Mountain Hospital District’s new CEO, has traveled the world working in hospital management – and has plenty of praise for all that John Day’s medical facility has to offer.

Mee began the job June 15, succeeding Bob Houser, who retired in late December after 15 years with the district – Houser was followed by interim CEO Margie Molitor who took the helm for five months.

Mee has been involved in health care for 40 years, working in administration for 25 years.

He was president and CEO at St. Anthony’s Hospital, a critical access hospital in Pendleton, from 2008-11, and before that was administrator at Cottage Grove Community Hospital.

His work overseas includes a year at the culturally diverse Oasis Hospital in the United Arab Emirates, 2011-2012, and three months in Jakarta, last year, consulting for a university hospital.

Mee said he’s impressed with the Blue Mountain Hospital staff and facility. The physicians are excellent, said Mee, and all the nurses are certified in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP). He said the physicians and nurses’ skill level should encourage the community’s confidence in the care they will receive at the hospital.

After just three weeks on the job at BMH, Mee has set high standards for the staff.

“We’re working toward a goal to become one of HealthCare’s top 100 facilities in the nation,” he said.

His priority areas of focus include assuring quality staff, quality care and compassion, and supporting the staff’s development in their areas of expertise.

Mee said he appreciates the support the community has shown for the hospital.

“As a result, we have some of the best medical equipment,” he said.

He gave some examples of what he feels makes BMH a valuable facility, including a quality staffed ER and radiology department with a large bore MRI machine, also echocardiogram, respiratory therapy, physical therapy, anesthesia, and well-equipped operating and birthing rooms.

He also highlighted the quality staff and services, including doctors at the onsite clinic, as well as a surgeon available full time, ambulance service, visiting specialists, home health, hospice, therapy (physical and respiratory), Care Center and all the support staff.

“As you look at the continuum of care, for a health care system, to have all of these components – it’s very rarely found in a hospital of this size,” he said.

Developments he hopes to see in the future include a chemotherapy infusion center and continuing improvements to respiratory therapy services.

Doctors Andrew and Andrea Janssen of Strawberry Mountain Community Clinic are moving their family to Ethiopia later this summer to practice and teach family medicine through the Christian SIM (Serving In Mission) organization.

Mee said he expects the Janssens will be out of the country for two to three years – perhaps,as many as 10 years.

Filling the vacancy will be Dr. Robert Bomengen who starts full time July 6.

Mee’s wife Mercedes has been a neonatal nurse for 30 years, and she may work at BMH in some capacity in the future; her experience includes work at Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston, Mass.

The couple have two grown daughters, one in Oregon and the other back East, and three grandchildren.

In their free time, the couple enjoy hiking, kayaking and golfing.

Randall said he’s looking forward to his work at BMH.

“I’m impressed with the level of compassion and competence – and it’s a fun staff to work with,” he said. “Their desire to provide the premiere services to Grant County is commendable, and makes this an enjoyable position.”

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